Press Release
May 24, 2006

Counterpart bill of Villar's proposal to change school calendar
already approved in the Lower House

The proposal of Senator Manny Villar, President of the Nacionalista Party, to change the school calendar year in the country from June through March to September through May, may soon be a reality.

According to Villar, "Many legislators as well as school owners and even DepEd officials support the proposal to change our school calendar so that it won't fall right smack to the rainy season here in our country. I'm glad that the counterpart bill in the House has been approved in the committee level."

It was recently reported that the counterpart bill of Villar's Senate Bill 565 in the Lower House authored by Quezon City Representative Mary Ann Susano has already been approved by the House Committee on Higher and Technical Education.

Villar noted on Senate Bill 565 that the existing school calendar is thus often disrupted by typhoons or storms. This situation results to the irregularity of school days due to the rains and the floods; commuting problems due to horrendous traffic to and from schools; danger to life from open drains and street excavations; and respiratory and other diseases such as coughs, colds, fever and flu.

Villar earlier urged the Department of Education (DepEd) to conduct additional research or study on the pros and cons. "The opinions of teachers, parents, students and even the businesses related to education such as school owners and school supplies manufacturers should also be considered," says Villar.

Furthermore, Villar cites, "With the change in our school calendar, the Philippines will be synchronized with the school calendar of other countries in the world."

Two other senators have aired their support on the proposed revision in the local school calendar. These are Senate President Franklin Drilon (who filed Senate Bill 1441) and Senator Juan Flavier who is the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Education, Arts and Culture where Villar's bill was referred to.

"If these bills would be passed into law in the 13th Congress, it may be too late to be implemented for the 2006-2007 school year which would start next month already. But definitely next school year, school opening would be on September 2007," adds Villar.

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